Connery tops movie star list

James Bond favourite Sir Sean Connery has been ranked above figures like the late Lord Olivier and Sir John Gielgud as the greatest British movie actor of all time.

The Scottish star, whose voice is known around the world and whose distinguished looks mean he is still a sex symbol at 70, topped a poll of movie fans.

The Orange Film Survey, of more than 10,000 voters, found Julie Walters was the most popular British actress.

Sir Sean found fame as 007 starring in six official films and returning to the role in the unofficial Never Say Never Again. Other box office hits include The Rock, Medicine Man and the Hunt For Red October.

Of the top five actors in the poll - to tie in with shortlist for the Orange British Academy Film Awards out on Wednesday - only Hugh Grant, at number four, has not been knighted.

Sir Sean is followed by Sir Anthony Hopkins and Sir Alec Guinness who died last year. Sir John Gielgud, recognised as one of the finest actors Britain ever produced but who was more at home on the stage than the screen, fails to even make the top 10.

Instead younger actors like Ewan McGregor and Robert Carlyle are rewarded with places.

Another Bond star, Pierce Brosnan, proves his popularity in the role by making it in to number six.

Walters, an Oscar nominee for Educating Rita, is followed by Dame Judi Dench, who took the best supporting actress Oscar in 1999 for Shakespeare In Love.

Catherine Zeta Jones, tipped for an Academy award nomination this year, is in third place. Liz Hurley, not normally identified as one of Britain's finest screen stars is fourth - just ahead of Emma Thompson and six places above the acclaimed Dame Maggie Smith, both Oscar winners.

The survey also found cinemagoers to be a dozy bunch. Nearly half of all those who took part had fallen asleep at the cinema and almost a quarter had nodded off in the past three months.

Top British actors:

1. Sir Sean Connery.

2. Sir Anthony Hopkins.

3. Sir Alec Guinness.

4. Hugh Grant.

5. Sir Michael Caine.

6. Pierce Brosnan.

7. Robert Carlyle.

8. Ewan McGregor.

9. Sir John Mills.

10. Lord Olivier.

Top British actresses:

1. Julie Walters.

2. Dame Judi Dench.

3. Catherine Zeta Jones.

4. Elizabeth Hurley.

5. Emma Thompson.

6. Liz Taylor.

7. Barbara Windsor.

8. Helen Mirren.

9. Dame Margaret Rutherford.

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